Funding: Doug Field on the need to support entrepreneurs

THE East of England Co-operative Society is calling on professional advisors working with entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in the region to help spread the word that the society is looking to support new and growing businesses through its Regional Investment Fund.

We need entrepreneurs to help us trade our way out of recession and in order to support the next generation of successful businesses in the region we have set up our own Regional Investment Fund.

We are looking to invest in entrepreneurs who have already got their businesses off the ground, have a strong ethical business plan and the drive to grow the businesses significantly to apply for funding.

Since we launched the fund in June we’ve already had some very interesting business plans submitted from a variety of different sectors including agricultural science, environmental and construction, and even a brewery.

But we are still looking for more businesses to get in touch, and we are asking for business advisors who work with entrepreneurs everyday to help us reach those looking for investment.

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Our fund value is considerable as the Society is more interested in backing good ideas and opportunities than setting a cap on investment. Investments could range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of pounds or more.

Sectors of particular interest include existing and potential suppliers to the Society or ideas involved in renewable energy, e-commerce, technology and the environment, but we will look at all good business plans and consider all ideas.

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We are always looking for new areas of interest to complement our existing diverse business activities which include food stores, funeral branches, travel and pharmacy.

If you know, or are working with, an ethical entrepreneur we would urge you to let them know about the society’s fund so they don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply for essential funding from the largest independent retailer in East Anglia.

The criteria for a successful application for funding will be linked to the society’s ethical code and its support for businesses based in the region with the potential for growth. For more information, including the application process and sources of advice, visit .

: : Doug Field is executive officer – finance and technology at the East of England Co-operative Society.

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